- Drivers in Wyoming spend the most annually to own a car at $2,705, while those in Iowa pay the least at $1,942, according to a new study by Bankrate.com.
- The study, which took into account the cost of insurance, fuel and repairs, placed the national average cost of car ownership at $2,223 per year.
- Although the study provides useful comparisons, it did not take into account every possible expense that can be associated with owning a vehicle.
The study found that Wyoming drivers typically spend $2,705 annually to operate a vehicle. On the other hand, those in Iowa get off at a relative bargain outlay of $1,942 per year.
The rest of the top-five most expensive states are Louisiana ($2,555), Florida ($2,516), Mississippi ($2,487) and New Jersey ($2,421), while the list of the cheapest states is rounded out by Ohio ($1,973), Illinois ($1,999), Idaho ($2,001) and Wisconsin ($2,018).
To come up with its findings, Bankrate.com analyzed the cost of insurance, fuel and repairs in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The firm, which has been publishing financial rate information for almost 40 years, found that the national average cost of car ownership is $2,223 per year.
Paradoxically, drivers in Wyoming enjoy below-average costs for insurance and car repairs and their per-gallon price at the gas pump is also below the national average. But despite the savings in these three key areas, the annual cost of operating a vehicle in the state remains high.
The reason can be attributed to those wide-open spaces. Wyoming drivers log 68 percent more miles per year than the national average, which takes their annual fuel expense up to $1,588, considerably more than anywhere else in the country.
Iowans, on the other hand, keep their costs low with the least expensive car insurance in the U.S., just $630 per year compared to the national average of $884. Car repairs in Iowa are also fairly cheap, averaging just $315 per vehicle annually compared to $354 nationwide.
Even though the Bankrate.com study provides a useful comparison of costs from state to state, there are often expenses associated with car ownership that this analysis did not take into account. These can include licensing and registration, replacement tires, vehicle depreciation, annual inspections, taxes and finance charges.
Earlier this year, the AAA Your Driving Costs study pegged the total average price of vehicle ownership at $8,876 per year, based on 15,000 miles of annual driving.
The AAA study looked at the cost of owning and operating a new vehicle in the U.S. and included finance charges, license and registration fees, taxes and depreciation, as well as insurance, fuel and maintenance.
To get an accurate estimate of the cost of vehicle ownership by specific make and model, check out the Edmunds True Cost to Own calculator.
Edmunds says: It may or may not benefit consumers to consider moving in order to reduce the expense of owning a car.